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Breathe Easy

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This post is sponsored by FilterEasy.

“Air filters? What in sam hill am I supposed to say about air filters?”

That’s the G-rated version of what I said to myself after reading the sponsored post proposal from FilterEasy.

But after thinking about it, I decided to take the challenge. I would find something funny to say about air filters. I mean, if I could make air filters entertaining, I am probably some sort of god among bloggers. Sponsor me, all ye mundane household items! Pay me in paper towels and caulk! Let me synergize your brand, lemon-scented dusting spray!

Then I looked at the ordering instructions and I was like, “I’m supposed to buy air…filtersss? Like more than one?”

Prior to my experience with FilterEasy, the entire scope of my air filter knowledge was: I dunno, that’s a husband thing.

I mean, I knew they were a thing that existed and needed to be purchased and changed regularly, but I had zero idea what variety or size we’d need and how to change it or how often and wow, stop being such a wuss and SACK UP AND LEARN ABOUT HOW THINGS WORK, AMY.

(It’s like that time we ran out of dish detergent in the pump-thing attached to the sink when Jason was away, and I realized I had no idea how to refill it. I’ve spent my whole life taking readily-available dish detergent in a pump-thing for granted, thinking it just magically refilled itself. NEWSFLASH, IDIOT.)

ANYWAY. Turns out I am not the only one who Fails to Adult around here, because when I asked Jason about what size filters we needed for the wall and ceiling returns (and oh hey also what are wall and ceiling returns), he stared at me blankly.

“We don’t put filters in the wall and ceiling returns. Are you…supposed to?”

“I don’t know. It seems like something other people do?”

“But why? There’s a filter on the unit. That’s all you need. Whatever.”


A quick Google search revealed that while yes, you can install filters in the return vents. Or in the unit. Or both! Especially if you’re prone to allergies, or want to do everything possible to prolong the life of your HVAC system. Which, yes to the first and HELL YES to the second, because we already shelled out a fortune to replace our HVAC system and by God, never again.

This is what a ceiling return looks like:


This is what a wall return looks like:


And this is what a second, seekrit wall return that I seriously never noticed looks like:


(Note that it is somewhat freshly painted. By me. But it still never registered to me what, exactly, it was. Other than a vent thing that was annoying to paint.)

(Hey there, Lego guy.)

Okay, so clearly we maybe aren’t exactly Air Filter Vikings around here. Jason admitted he kind of only had a vague idea of when the unit filter needed replaced, but it was “probably around that time.”

So introducing…




I measured everything, went online and added the appropriately sized filters. Although FilterEasy offers three grades of filters and comped my entire order, I opted for the middle “MicroAllergen” grade instead of the “SuperAllergen” one because apparently, even when being offered things for free I feel guilty. Like my family doesn’t deserve luxury air filters.

(Just kidding. We don’t get allergies that severe, and the MicroAllergen grade was still a big step up from the ones we typically buy.)

The good news is that Jason showed me how to change the HVAC unit’s filter. This is good because…yeah. It was definitely “around that time.”


Uh. Lovely.

With a FIlterEasy subscription, however, you always know it’s “around that time” because NEW FILTERS SHOW UP AT YOUR DOOR. Greetings, fellow adult! Please install us so that you can continue breathing! If you’re into that sort of thing!

I tackled the wall and ceiling returns all by myself. None of which contained a filter, all of which were filthy and horrible.


(Why I’ve never broken out as a fabulously aspirational lifestyle blogger, I will never know.)


(This was the smallest filter we needed. I may or may not have squeed “aww, it’s a little baby one!” when I encountered it. Shut up.)

The whole process was crazy easy and oddly satisfying. Behold, family! I care about your lungs! Enough to get a screwdriver and stepladder out! I am handy! And amazing!

Time to go lie down for the rest of the day now. I obviously earned it.

FilterEasy would like to give one of you a $250 Target gift card, because they are nice! Which is why I didn’t make them send me the most expensive filters, because that just seemed greedy! But you should all follow this link and be greedy for that gift card! Giveaway is for U.S. only and will last for one week. Just enter your email address to be automatically entered.

The first 100 readers who enter will ALSO get their ENTIRE first order of filters (which will replace all the filters in your house, even in places you might not have known you can install filters [HI!]) for absolutely FREE. Just go here and enter your email to claim the discount.

Also! FilterEasy will offer any custom size or 4” filter if you email [email protected] and mention AMALAH. Shameless namedropping, there.



Monica Bush

Ha! this is SO a husband thing in our house too. I better check in on it though :)


Do I just put in my email and that's it? Or do I need to answer their questions about how many filters, etc. Thanks for the giveaway! Using filters in your returns will capture some pet hair too, so it's good to change those regularly--but you've got that covered now!


Are you kidding me?? YESTERDAY we schlepped to the Home Depot to buy an air filter. But just one. This post makes me think maybe there should be more than one in the house? We will be researching tonight...


I do most of the husband-ing around here anyway. This is a great service. We're moving in a month, but then I plan to sign up. With two kids, FSM knows I don't need another thing to keep track of, particularly if the prices are good, as they say.


I do most of the filter changing in our house, because I have nasty allergies. The subscription service is cool!

Samantha Campen

no kidding I have "buy new filters" on my list of things to do this week. But going is such a paaaaaaaaain. This sounds like an awesome system!


Because this shit always ends up being my job anyway.


THIS IS A BRILLIANT IDEA! My husband and I started writing the date we installed a new filter on the side of the filter so that we'd have SOME idea of how long it had been... but uh, that filter is *inside a wall* so we never checked on the date until we were like "oh shit, it must be time to replace that huh? ....oh look, the date on this one was last June. Whoops."

In other words, signing up for this immediately. I never thought I would be excited by a post about air filters, but there you go.


My preference is to have as many things delivered to me with no effort required as possible. Plus, my thermostat flashes obnoxiously at me when the filter needs changing.


Uh.....really?? I change the one in my furnace very faithfully, as it is right beside my washer and dryer. I have those vent things all over my house, and I vacuum the front grates regularly. But I honestly never knew they should have filters in them!!!! So.....I will be checking them out as soon as I can find the right screwdriver. Thank you Amy!!

PS...I am in Canada, so no giveaway for me. But really appreciate the advice!


Actually, I do know we are supposed to change ours but the AC guy threw in "free" ones with our $2500 AC unit last summer - so I checked the 3 we have and they are naaaasty. I got 3 for free! Thanks for the giveaway!

Been there

I just wanted to quietly mention that not many people know to replace/install secondary filters (those in your walls and ceilings) because manufacturers of HVAC systems don't require them. The one(s) in your unit, yes, but they kind of count on you leaving your other ducts clear. Those filters catch dust/allergens/Legos/etc but they also make it harder for your unit to move air freely through your home. We have floor returns, four kids, and ALL the lego so we put some in to prevent fishing toys out constantly. We were soundly tongue lashed by all the repair folk who saw them. One said putting filters on your returns is like putting a surgical mask on full time. You won't swallow a bug but you'll really wear yourself out prematurely. So we've had to grow up and start cleaning our main filter monthly and thoroughly vaccumming our return vents seasonly (or as the kids fill them with toys).

Sue W.

I am the Queen Filter Changer in our house. Once a month all three get changed.


I have horrible allergies and asthma. I know the better filters restrict airflow to an extent but without them I am miserable. That being said, I never ever remember to pick up new filters. You may have just saved my life :) thank you!


I had no idea I could laugh so much about air filters. Well done.

Nicole Norman

Totally a husband thing in our house too, and he's pretty on top of it, but I'm almost positive we have no filters in our wall returns. Need to check them out!


Wait, there's a filter IN the actual unit? Like the outside unit? I need to explore this when I get home. I have one ceiling and two wall returns that I put filters in, but I didn't know there might be others. My dad taught me to write the date on them when I change them, and when I get around to thinking, "Oh, probably time to change them again, it must have been at least a month...oh, it's been four months." Will definitely be checking out this service!

Cheryl S.

We only have one spot for air filters. . . I feel left out. But, I did go get my one FREE! Thanks!

Leslie in MA

You're making me wish I had something other than baseboard radiators and a heating unit the landlord maintains. Maybe I should check out the in-wall a/c unit though, just for laughs...

Nicely done post!


I had no idea that the returns could be filtered! We are a sneezy, cat-hairy family whose mama (gulp, me) is terribly forgetful about changing the furnace filter. Oh, FilterEasy, how we need thee.


Wait, the unit ITSELF has a spot for a filter? The ...inside portion(?) of our a/c (technical term, ftw!) lives in the attic!! They don't really expect me to climb up there to replace filters do they? I was so proud of myself for faithfully replacing the ceiling filter thing (I'm rocking out with the technical terms today), but had no idea I may be missing one entirely. I'll have to inspect. Or have my husband inspect, who am I kidding?


I am paranoid about all things household, but putting filters in your air returns can be a bad idea because they can make the HVAC units actually have to work harder to move the air around. The returns aren't really designed to have filters in them (hence the screws), and if you don't change them often you're going to have trouble. I would really ask a reliable HVAC person about this before taking the plunge.



I couldn't even tell you what kind of filters I have. We've lived her 2 years now



I couldn't even tell you what kind of filters I have. We've lived her 2 years now


Not sure if this is my first post, but have been an honest true reader since Noah was the only one! Just got a new zoned system! And new returns all over the place. I need these filters!

Sharon O.

Hub and I are terrible about remembering to change the filters until they start (literally) wheezing. This is PERFECT. We can't use the excuse that we forgot anymore, when they're showing up at our door.


Is it weird that I was excited it was our brand of air filters that featured in this post?'s weird. But also weirdly satisfying.

When I moved in with my husband I asked about the furnace filter. He had no idea what I was talking about. He had lived here for FIVE YEARS.


woo hoo, I won! thanks so much

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